How not to repair a Heritage Street In the Christchurch CBD

Oh the irony. How delicious….

On one hand we have the very public spectacle of a building owner in New Regent Street facing public condemnation from the other building owners about her reticence to repair her units in the New Regent Street and the pain that this is causing the other retail and hospitality businesses. Links Here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/77313150/editorial-new-regent-st-standoff-completely-unacceptable

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/77753704/in-search-of-helen-thacker

Apparently the pressure applied upon this women has now borne fruit and she is in the process of making her building in New Regent Street safe.

And Now, we have lower High Street. The Street totally abandoned by a multitude of building owners, CERA, CCC and Heritage advocates alike.  It really is time now for some one to take an interest in what is happening here,  having me being a lone voice in the wilderness is pretty pointless.

CERA is the major building owner of 7 units in the street.  The other building owners (Webb, Lovell-Smith, Spinks, Rose, Rama) are conspicuous by their absence.

The properties that CERA owns will soon to be transferred to Otakaro Ltd. One of the myriad of organisations that will replace CERA in Mid April.  A crown owned entity.  (Same old s….. just another new re-branded crown entity).

Peter Townsend and Miriam Dean to join Crown company board”Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said the newly named Otakaro Limited would continue to “build on what we are achieving” when it took over from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority later this year.  link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/76988371/Peter-Townsend-and-Miriam-Dean-to-join-Crown-company-board

Build on what we are achieving?  yes, really?  I hope they do a better job than CERA has in High Street.  I have serious doubts that the new board members have any experience or interest in selling real Estate let alone a Heritage building in High Street. (Townsend’s performance to date is the subject of much “robust debate” amongst the building owners that I know).

CERA has owned the buildings in High Street since August and October 2013.  In that time they have: fenced off the street…… inspected the buildings,  re-inspected the buildings, re-inspected the re-inspections ….  etc  etc you get the picture.

The irony is that these buildings have not been “made safe” under their own section 38’s “make safe” orders.  The notorious section 38’s that they so blithely handed out to private building owners after the February 2011 earthquake.  Now you may ask how does this work?  It appears to be a case of “do as I say but not as I do”.  CERA has not lifted a finger since 2013 to make safe the frontages of the Duncan’s Buildings or attempted to limit further damage from the ongoing quakes.

This is part of a city-wide issue that CERA did not address in their 5 plus years in power.  Building owners abandoned their buildings, for numerous reasons – and  in the end those that stayed and tried to do the right thing have been penalised.

A word of advice to other building owners in the country.  If you ever face the situation that we have found ourselves in.  DO NOT REPAIR YOUR HERITAGE BUILDING.  Pull it down. It is not economic to wait 5 plus years for neighbouring building owners to get their act together.

And now they have a problem.  As of a few weeks ago we had another 5.7, 4.9 and 4.4  quake.  Whoop’s!  Now, the communal I beam that runs through all the units has lost one of its support pillars  –  this was predictable. The verandah is now sagging and should have been propped 5 years ago and there is now a serious risk that with another good shake the frontage of 145 will collapse taking a good proportion of the others with it.  Note: The failure of the structural support has already caused damage to our frontage. (I am about to check out consequential Liability).

The CCC compliance team was notified on the 16 March 2016.  Technically CERA the building owner, has 10 working days to make safe from this day.  Note: that is not working days, this includes weekends.  That is what they did to all the building owners in the city. (The problem is there is no one home at CERA, the staff are too busy clearing their desks…  and have been for the last 6 months).

The count so far:  18 days…… please explain?????

So what happens now?  Watch this space!  This is going to get really interesting……

 

IMG_20160316_103207941.jpg

Loss of structural support for I beam at 145 High Street.

Ho humm  … this is almost getting to be fun.

 

Advertisements

How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchuch CBD 5 years on…

So, what is new in High Street 5 years on from 22nd February 2010?

4 years progress in High St for CERA/CCDU.

5 years progress in High St for CERA/CCDU.

Not much obviously!

  • There appears to be no progress on the sale of the Duncan’s Building.  I have seen no sign of a tender document.
  • I have spoken to a number of interested buyers but it seems that CERA et al are unable to lift this issue out of the too hard basket. I have also been “told” that CERA et al will not be selling any further properties until the new “Regenerate” entity takes over.  Another delaying tactic. CERA closes down in April sometime, I can not remember if it’s the end of April or early.  The problem for CERA of course is that they paid too much for the buildings.  ( These figures are readily available).  CERA acquisitions in Lower High Street:
    145-151 High St  Oct 13  $636,000       4 units
    153 High St         Aug 13  $430,000       1 unit
    155-157 High St  Aug 13  $760,000       2 units

    Total paid $ 1,826,000
    Estimate of value now after 5 years of neglect:  Land price less demolition.  My guess is half of this price.  There is one insurance settlement to be collected on one unit, but after 3 years that will have devalued by approx 30%.

    So, there are a number of issues here.
    CERA/CCDU probably does no want to show a loss on the sale of these buildings on their books.   (Bad look for the Government)   They also appear incapable of sucking it up and doing a deal with a developer, along the lines of “you do the work and once they are tenanted you will pay xyz….”.  ie Stagger the payments. This would be normal practice in the commercial world.  They basically appear to be incapable of Making a decision.  Governments should not be in the business of real estate.

    c’est la vie…..

  • I see in the Press today, in a very good summary of the rebuild  “Have the anchor projects anchored Christchurch’s central city?”  by GEORGINA STYLIANOU, that 2 more properties belonging to the Christchurch Heritage Trust are under contract.  That will be the Billen’s site in the lower block and the Excelsior Hotel site on the corner of High Street & Manchester Street.  Good news for the street. Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-life/76090113/have-the-anchor-projects-anchored-christchurchs-central-city
    Billens site.

    Billens site on the left.

    January 2016.  Just the frontage is left.  It is to be demolished and rebuilt as a "look alike".

    Excelisor Hotel. January 2016. Just the frontage is left. It is to be demolished and rebuilt as a “look alike”.

  • Security is still an ongoing issue in the street.  The police arrested 2 young men breaking into a neighbouring unit last week.
    We, again, had to board up the frontage. (The land owner has been conspicuous by her absence for the last 5 years).  A name and shame list is needed in the city, either front up or get out.
  • The wee shake last week was an unpleasant reminder, that it’s not over till it’s over.  30 more years some cheerful soul told me a few days ago.  It has interrupted our works programme as we had to rake and plaster some gib, that had just been under-coated in preparation for final painting.  Next time we will batten the gib,  I see no point in endless plastering/repainting.  Seems to me that Gib is not the product to use in Christchurch, I am going to start investigating alternatives.
  • Work has restarted on the fit out off 2 of the Duncan’s Units at the other end of our row.  Great to see.
  • The work on the McKenzie and Willis site is racing ahead.  I think its due to be completed in September.
  • Both the Vodafone and Katmandu buildings are close to being finished, I have not seen a recent ETA on these.
  • Otherwise all is quiet and boring.  We can see no point at his stage in attempting to open our retail area.  That would be retail suicide.

ho humm,  5 years on not much has changed.  Talk about depressing.  Retirement is looming I feel it in my bones.  I think I will move out of the city.  Some where, where there are no quakes, floods, fires, plagues of locusts/rats, government agencies, CERA/CCDU/REGENERATE/CCC/SOUTHERN RESPONSE etc….  and so the list goes on.

How not to repair a heritage building in Christchurch CBD part 172

So What is new in High Street?

  • Well Rangiora’s High Street is moving forward with its re-development.  Lucky them. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/north-canterbury/75734380/rangioras-high-street-developments-taking-shape
  • There is noticeable progress on the rebuild on the Mckenzie & Willis site, behind us. I believe this is due to be finished in March 2016.  The Vodafone and Kathmandu buildings in Tuam Street are also close to completion.

    P1000865

    McKenzie & Willis build proceeds rapidly.

  • CERA/CCDU/Regenerate appear to have made no progress on the sale off the  7 Duncan’s Units that they own.  It is still unclear what their intentions are.
  • There has been a vigorous debate raging on the Press Web site about the new bus lanes to be built on St Asaph Street, the main concerns for the retailers is the loss of 120 car parks on St Asaph Street. It is a cyclist vs Business argument.  Neither side is very tolerant of the others concerns. Personally I am disappointed with the cycle lane it only runs 4-5 blocks and ends in space.  Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/74689538/tension-as-car-parks-make-way-for-cycleways-in-central-christchurch
  • There have been fluro clad contractors wandering along High street doing measurements for the new tram tracks. The irony is that they will not be able to lay said tracks until the 7 Duncan’s units are sorted out.  That is going to be like watching paint dry.
  • I have had to ring the cops again last week to get some creeps off my deck and roof. And at 10.50 pm last night some low life smashed our plate glass window.  That required emergency measures to seal up the hole. A quick late night re arrange of the red zone fencing was required.  Damn stuff finally came in useful after 5 years.
    P1000864

    A smashed window. Security in the CBD is an on going nightmare.

    The larger issue here is that at night there are young men (mainly) roaming aimlessly in the central city.  Too many empty buildings, open spaces and bars are not a good mix.   There appears to be a total lack of a police presence. And CERA’s red zone High Street fencing has more hole in it than a Swiss cheese.  They are not protecting the 7 units that they own and have abdicated from ALL their responsibilities for the security of their property.  They are not a great example for the rest of the city.

  • The City Council is trying to deal with the long term parking issue in High Street by reinstating some meters that have been trapped in the red zone fencing for 5 years.  This is helpful!
  • The floor is finished and the painters start painting our retail area tomorrow.  Then we require the electrician.  ( And the window man!)

Some General observations. The reality of trying to run a business in the Christchurch CBD.

  • There is re-building occurring in small isolated pockets across the city.
    The pockets of retail are so dispersed that there are no groupings of like minded retailers with similar products.
  • It is not easy to get from one pocket to the other and no incentive to do so.
  • The retailers left in the city, (apart from the Cashel container mall) are in the main, retailers who have managed to remain in place after the earthquakes. ie those whose buildings did not suffer major damage.  They are few in number.
  • There appears to be no plan.  Certainly no time scale or concerted efforts to co-ordinate appear to be in place.  There is no information, advice or direction available. (Many retailers are reluctant to return to the CBD until some certainty returns).
  • There are so many bars in the city that I can not see how they are sustainable.  They are busy on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights.  The increase in bar and cafe numbers appears unsustainable.  The central city is at night “awash with vomit and drunk young people”.
  • The endless road cones and slow road repairs/alterations.   This is hindering access to the retailers attempting to trade. Finding a park is becoming increasingly difficult.  The new layouts being designed by CERA/CCDU will also remove many of the parks in the central city. It means that our customers can not get to us let alone park within walking distance. (Simple example, St Asaph Street under the latest “proposal” will lose 109 parks).
  • The parking buildings have not been rebuilt.
  • The foot paths in many area are a hazard to walkers. The elderly are in serious danger of falling over rubble.  (I will also confess to coming unstuck in a pot hole).
  • Lack of progress by CERA/CCDU to actually finish any projects.  The Justice precinct is being built and the bus depot is more or less finished. The Margaret Mahy park is now open. Other than that I can not think of a single project that CERA/CCDU has actually finished.
  • Lack of resolution of the Christchurch Cathedral issue.   The lack of progress or a decision regarding the iconic Cathedral is stalling development around the square.  Again causing a lack of confidence.

Conclusion: no one is lobbying for the Central City.  The opposition, Labour, The Greens and NZ First are invisible.

Ho hum…  another day spent sorting out CERA’s security issues.

How not to repair a heritage building in the Christchurch CBD

So whats new in High Street?

High Street has just had a tidy up. This was desperately needed, it looked like a bomb site.
CERA finally consented to the removal of the rubble from the street and someone told me a tree trim!  It happened on Thursday and Friday.  The difference is amazing.  I believe they removed 4 tons of rubbish. The City Council staff did an amazing job and worked like hell to get it done before the rain came.

It went from a bomb site:

Debris everywhere plus 4 years of acorns and leaves!

Debris everywhere plus 4 years of acorns and leaves!

To a tidy version of Little Detroit!

Improvement.

Improvement.

There has been some movement on the Mckenzie and Willis site. They began scaffolding it a few days ago.  They will scaffold the front, then drop some big supporting columns behind the frontage and the back of the building will be removed.  Yeah ha!  Progress.  Once this is done the burnt out Billen’s building can be removed.

The scaffold goes up on the Mckenzie and Willis site.

The scaffold goes up on the Mckenzie and Willis site.

The Back of McKenzie and Willis and Billens building. This will be removed once the frontage is stable.

The Back of McKenzie and Willis and Billens building. This will be removed once the frontage is stable.

I see that the “For lease” signs have gone up.  Finding tenants will be the tricky bit. There is an oversupply of office space in the city and the retailers are refusing to come back until some certainty is given over car parking and progress on the anchor projects.  I suspect that is “boat anchor”, most of these projects are dead ducks and white elephants.

For lease

For lease

There are numerous rumours buzzing around about the fate of the Street.  The most plausible:  is the sale of the 7 units that CERA own to a developer who will restore. I have heard that a number of meetings have taken place along these lines.  I am not privy to the details lol!  I have also heard some whispers of a private sale being contemplated between 2 building owners.  (Not me before any one gets any fancy ideas, I have got enough problems without taking on any more unreinforced masonry buildings!)

I have seen plans for the rebuild of one of the Duncans units that was seriously trashed in February 2011 quakes,  I am delighted that they appear to keep to a similar style frontage. I have my fingers crossed that this comes to fruition.

I am still unable to find out the fate of the rear laneway behind my building.  This is holding up the rebuild of our toilet block.  Just how hard is it for CERA /CCDU to pick up the phone and tell me for once and for all what is going on???

Moving on from this on going frustration…..

We have done a bit of tiding up of our frontage.  We found a great plasterer, he would come to work with his 83 year old Dutch dad ( also a plasterer, who repaired Churchs in the Netherlands after WW11) and have long and lengthy discussions on how to repair some of the frilly bits on the frontage.  A dying skill I am afraid.  We have not done the top bit yet.  That is on hold until NZI/IAG – The Insurance company, gives me OUR INSURANCE MONEY!  The stalling and carry on with the insurance industry is amazing.  The system needs restructuring!

Before

Before

some plaster repairs in the bottom left hand corner. After.

some plaster repairs in the bottom left hand corner. After.

I see Johnny Moore, down the road at Brick Farm had a “wee moment” the other day, with the constant road works out side his building. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/68354978/its-hard-work-doing-business-in-christchurch  I had to laugh or was that cry?  as I sympathised. The constant road works gets “challenging” to say the least!

This is what the High St-Tuam St intersection looks like at the moment.  The only word for it is “sodding nightmare”. Road cone heaven!

I think health and safety have a road cone fetish,

I think health and safety have a road cone fetish.

I have been watching the comments made by Anthony Gough about the building consents department and his problems.

At the moment, all I can say about this is: that Building Consents are being incredibly helpful to us at the moment.  For which I am very grateful as we were really in a bad space over this issue. Due to a combination of issues that I will not bore you with.
Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/67961922/ludicrous-red-tape-delaying-christchurch-rebuild

Re the red zoning of residential properties:

A very interesting blog discusses the red zoning.

I whole heartedly agree with this, basically our homes were red zoned for the political expediency of the national government, to save the Insurance industry money.  Sad…. and so unnecessary.  Many of us renting homes in the city are still suffering the pain of the loss of 7000 plus houses  as we pay silly rents and are still living in impossible conditions. This Link makes compelling reading: https://thechristchurchfiasco.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/important-noptification-the-below-link-presentation-will-gob-smack-you-all-guest-post-by-wecan/

“7. The decision to Red Zone many homes was a ‘political’ decision, and these decisions were not based on data. These decisions appear to have been made merely to save the insurance industry money from omitting the ground remediation costs.
Expelling victims from their homes ‘Red Zoning’ (many homes with very little structural damage) has been at great cost to the home owners both mentally, physically and financially.
Many of these residents, were paid the cost of their land (as per the 2007 valuations), but ‘repair value’ to their homes only, leaving vulnerable victims unable to afford to purchase new homes. Many of these people are elderly, now homeless and having to rent substandard dwellings.”

8. …” However the crown now has the ability to sell this confiscated land which will result in the New Zealand Government making a financial profit from forcibly removing earthquake victims from their homes”.

I notice in the press this morning some comments about the rebuild. Link here:  What I can not figure out is how anyone can maintain that the minister is doing a good job. You only need to look at High Street to see that. For the $1.4 they spent buying up the units in High Street they could have strengthened them and on sold for a profit. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/68439239/christchurch-rebuild-dream-falling-behind

Ho humm, another day in the shaky city.

ps  Due to some “difficulties” with my new house foundation, it looks like I will be squatting in the flat for another year…. as we go back to ground zero….  I am hoping like hell that the government does not can the rent subsidy CETAS offers, it is due to expire in October…. Then I will be in deep s……

Christchurch Rebuild Innovation Precinct Drone Fly Over April 2015

Christchurch Rebuild Innovation Precinct Drone Fly Over April 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2zAxsi4F6c

A excellent view of the Innovation Precinct is given in this flyover from “RebuildChristchurch”.

This is what we look at every day.    lol

great view!

How not to repair a Heritage building in the Christchurch CBD

  • Do we still own our building???? Now 796 days since designated “South frame, Innovation Precinct” – Designation to be in place until 2022. ( ie They can take the building any time between now and 2022)
  • High Street Building amendment details still at the council. Since January 2014. I am trapped between the CCC building consents Department and the Engineer. They are arguing about: “Justify that the new steel members (columns) will not have a detrimental effect on the stability of the party walls in a fire”.  This is plainly idiotic.  Do you want us to strengthen or not??

So whats new in High Street?

The Billens Building and Mckenzie and Willis remain in the same condition as before. Here is a pretty picture of the back.  This is what I look at every day. Cheerful eh?

The Back of McKenzie and Willis and Billens building.

The Back of McKenzie and Willis and Billens building.

So no progress here.

The 7 shops owned by CERA have had nothing done to them for 4 years now.

Here is a pix of the back. I have been told that :“Further design work for the partial and full strengthening options of these properties is required and we are in the process of procuring these services. Following this work a decision will be made on the level of strengthening that will be undertaken.”   Pigs fly!

CERA owns these 7 units, No progress here.

CERA owns these 7 units, No progress here.

I was invited last week, to the opening of the “High Street Transitional Project”   I was happy to attend.  It perhaps should be more correctly labeled the “Upper High Street Transitional Project”.  It was great to see the sheep.  They add a wee bit of humour to a hopeless situation. Link Here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/10541203/Forget-traffic-cones-we-have-sheep-cones

Sheep Road Cones

Sheep Road Cones

It has been suggested that our end of the street could do with some livestock as well, and what better than some “Broken sheep for a broken street?”

Broken sheep for a Broken street!

Broken sheep for a Broken street!

Sheep would be appropriate as we have plenty of fencing to keep them in and no traffic to damage them further, They will not escape as nothing much else has in the last 4 years.

It is an irony that CERA/CCDU/CCC  and all the other “powers that be” are putting so much energy into: water way/river projects, parks, gap filler, sheep cones, planter boxes, sculptures, artworks et al, but at the end of the day every interaction that I have with them leaves me still no better off.  I get no resolution, no answers, no meaningful assistance. Frustrating eh!  Just maybe they do not have a clue about what would really make a difference?

Perhaps we could begin commercial grazing?

Perhaps we could begin commercial grazing?

Onwards!

I have had to do another submission to the CCC over  “part 2” of the roading plans for Manchester and Tuam streets.  This is token consultation, as the CCC is firing the bullets for CCDU,  there was a noticeable lack of information on which to make a judged decision.

No one else in our end of the street bothered to submit anything, as far as I know.  There was not a lot of point they told me.  Still I am trying to keep them “honest.”

I have also been trying to get some information on the “Public Realm Network Plan”.  This interesting document is firmly in the hands of CERA/CCDU at the moment.  I believe that they are under “consultation” over this document.  Their idea of consultation is notional at the best.  As far as I can work out the CCC knows little about it, neither has any business owner in my circle seen it. The reason I want to see said document is because it seriously affects my development options for the rebuild of the rear of our building.  We have waited 4 years now. Why are we waiting…….???  They really do not want businesses to remain in the CBD do they?  Where is their commercial sense????   hello “Ground control to Major Tom is there any one out there” ????

It looks like another case of CERA/CCDU consultation that you have when you are not consulting.

It is probably sitting on Gerry’s desk.  Like all the other Christchurch issues.  He seems incapable of making a rapid decision.  One wonders why he has been given another portfolio (Defence) as well as dealing with Christchurch recovery.  (Than again he is very defensive!)
I spotted this editorial the other day.  Spot on!!    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/editorials/10531202/Editorial-Gerry-should-focus-on-one-job

Secret Squirrel is alive and well!

Secret Squirrel is alive and well!

On the subject of commercial business in the city. In a conversation with a large building owner I was told that the city has run out of commercial tenants willing to lease premises. The rents/outgoings are too high and the economy here is so depressed that most operators prefer to remain in their garages and back yards rather than step up into high risk rentals in the CBD. Combine this with the fact that many offices and head offices have pulled out of Christchurch. This partially explains why the Cashel street/High street intersection looks like a wasteland on a busy Saturday afternoon – No one is bothering to rebuild as they have no tenants secured for the developments, therefore no funds secured from the banks to rebuild with).

Cashel Street near High Street on a busy saturday.

Cashel Street near High Street on a busy saturday.

The other issues being very carefully not discussed by the “powers that be” here is the continued population loss. Although the figures look okay, with only a 7000 drop, what is happening is that as the 40-50 years olds get their houses fixed and their family issues sorted, they are pulling out of the city.  (This is noticeable amongst my acquaintances). These are people with middle/upper tier management and trade skills. They are gradually pulling out, as people recognise that the situation here is hopeless. They are being replaced by construction workers.

It was sad to see in the ChCh Press an article about the loss to the city of economist Eric Crampton.  His views are pragmatic and sensible. It is a pity CERA did not bring him onto their team and listen to him.  “As a classical liberal, Crampton believes the state’s role in our lives should be as limited as possible”.
He believes that the government’s response to the earthquakes, was an unhappy combination of regulation and deregulation. Damn right he is too.  You only had to be unfortunate enough to be trapped in the CBD red zone to know what hells we were put through. While those building owners 100 metres away,  outside the red zone, did not have to face and endure.

“He has a lot to say about how the post-quake period has been handled”  Read his chapter in the book “Once in a Life Time”.   (Free range Press) It is an eye opener.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/10390141/Outspoken-economist-leaves-ChCh

Ho humm it’s a beautiful day, I am warm for the first time in 3 months, the birds are singing and they have dug a hole for my house foundations.  Some one in their infinite wisdom has decided that we need a 7500 litre storm water tank.  Great! I am going to get a new swimming pool as well! Morons….. This is overkill……

A swimming pool!

A swimming pool!

 

Innovation Precinct update… “why are we waiting?…

Innovation precinct Plan Due:  September,  October,  November, December 2013, January, February, March, April, May?? Nope it’s today the 3rd June 2014 at 4.33pm

The rumours about Vodafone in the innovation precinct have been bubbling away for months and all the while CERA/CCDU/MBIE has been delaying the release of the “Innovation Precinct plans” until they could “find, bribe, con, secure” – take your pick, an anchor tenant. Looks like Vodafone is to be the “anchor tenant” they have so desperately wanted. Why they needed an anchor tenant is a bit of a moot point, but it was the only way they could stick with the “Innovation Precinct” moniker.

Is it not ironical that CERA/CCDU/MBIE have the power to hold up all the other building owners in this precinct for over 3.5 years while they mess around trying to prove that they know what they are doing. While they have been stalling they have been playing with people’s livelihoods.  It looks like an orchestrated manipulation of the market designed to force the building owners into selling out (as we pay rates and expenses etc on useless un-tenantable buildings.)  It seems to me that this was not the way to get progress in this zone.  They have deliberately slowed progress.  Is this really the function of central government? I think not.

And then they wonder why the land owners are refusing to rebuild and co-operate!  Amazing stupidity really.  They are still playing some mysterious game.  It is called selling the land off to the rich landowners in the city and forcing the small ones out. The same game they have played across the city for 3 plus years.

It appears that a developer has finally managed to get Vodafone’s signature on paper. I have not seen cast iron confirmation of this.  I bet there was a sweetener! I believe that the owner of the land has sold to a “middle man” who has on sold to Vodafone.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/10095283/Vodafone-tipped-as-innovation-anchor-tenant

Look at the great glass structure that we are going to get.  Thank my lucky stars that we are not opposite this monstrosity! Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/10103341/Giant-screens-on-Vodafone-building

Now you tell me why we had to wait 3.5 years for CERA to release the Innovation Precinct plans?  Waiting for one anchor tenant and holding up all progress until it was signed sealed and delivered makes no sense to me at all.  The silence has been deafening.

So presumably, this deal should be confirmed today. Link here:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/10111599/Rebuild-at-a-turning-point[  

Based on this we should get the Innovation Precinct details released this week. Make a bet on Thursday/Friday.  CERA/CCDU always releases information late in the week. It stops protests.

Now while you peeps in other parts of the country may think that this is all a Christchurch problem, I need to point out that you need to remember, that this is a NATIONAL government orchestrating all this.  The actions that they have taken here will be used as a blueprint for any other disaster that will occur in any of our main cities. This scenario is easily transferred to Wellington or Dunedin, both of which have a large number of buildings that are unreinforced masonry ie brick and are on small land parcels.  It is not just the buildings that the government wants down it is the amalgamation of small land parcels.  This is not good for small land owners. It is also about a re distribution of wealth.

My guess is that many building owners in Christchurch will never vote for national again.

Christchurch is a NATIONAL DISGRACE

Just remember:

Southern NO response – owned by the government

EQC  owned by the government

CERA owned by the government

CCDU owned by the government

MBIE owned by the government

All organisations tasked to help us, but who have failed us miserably.

The sun is shining, it is freezing. And we are still above ground!

8.30pm update: 

Well wonders do never cease. Vodafone is confirmed as an anchor tenant and within hours (4.33pm) of this confirmation the long awaited Spatial Document for the “Innovation Precinct” has been released. Along with an accompanying email. My guess about the release of this document was out by 2 days! My bad!

A quick peruse of the document shows lots of pretty pictures and “spatial” concepts.  At first glance it is short on detail. I still can not work out what sort of access we get to our building from the proposed rear lane way.   Until this detail is clarified I can not proceed with repairs in this part of the building.

ho humm, think of all those high paid CERA/CCDU/MBIE planners spending years on preparing this document….. on high wages!

Good afternoon
 
The purpose of this email is to provide you, as an owner of a property within that part of the South Frame bordered by Montreal, Tuam, Manchester and St Asaph Streets, with an update on progress within the Innovation Precinct.
 
Today Minister’s Brownlee and Joyce released the Spatial Framework for the Innovation Precinct, the following link will take you to the document  http://bit.ly/T8mcsL.  In addition to the release of the Spatial Framework, the government announced its support for the development of an innovation hub within the precinct.  Start-ups are significant idea generators within innovation precincts but often can’t afford the high rental cost of new builds.  The innovation hub offers the opportunity for lower rentals.  Support such as this, in a knowledge rich environment among other innovators will  help start-ups flourish and ultimately see the innovative ecosystem grow.
 
Also announced today was the news that the Innovation Precinct is going to be home for the Government’s new Information Communications Technology (ICT) Graduate School programme, a programme that will also be rolled out to other main centres in the country.  This programme will deliver industry – focused education and research and will connect tertiary education providers and graduates with key ICT firms.
 
In addition to the Government’s commitment to the Precinct, Vodafone also announced their new South Island headquarters, along with the international incubator hub ‘Xone’, will be based in the Innovation Precinct.   The ‘Xone’ incubator hub is one of only six in the world and will be a first for New Zealand.  The ‘Xone’ incubator offers advice, support and assistance to technology start-ups with a focus on mobile platforms, consumer electronics, smart charging etc.
 
Regards
 
Christchurch Central Development Unit
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA)
Private Bag 4999, Christchurch 8140